The Open and Affirming Task Team of the Massachusetts Conference, urges action on a bill before Congress that fights discrimination due to sexual orientation or gender identity.
On Wednesday, April 6, Representative Barney Frank, D (MA-4) introduced an inclusive version of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), HR 1397, and on Wednesday, April 13, Senator Merkley introduced the Senate version of this bill (S. 811). The bill would make it illegal to fire, refuse to hire or refuse to promote an employee based on the person’s sexual orientation or gender identity. Currently, it is legal to fire someone because of their sexual orientation in 29 states, and it is legal to fire someone because of their gender identity in 38 states. Clearly, the uniform employment protections ENDA would provide nationwide are vital and long overdue.
PFLAG National sees the reintroduction of ENDA as an important opportunity to continue to educate our Senators and Representatives on this important piece of legislation. Our work in this Congress is daunting, but as we educate more Congress members, we create a stronger coalition of allies who can eventually make ENDA a reality.
"There are over 100 new members in the Congress who need to learn about LGBT people, their lives, and how they are affected by discrimination," said ONA Task Team Chair Kathie Carpenter. "We can be sure that those opposed to equal employment protections will be flooding their representatives' offices with emails and calls. Don't let their voices drown out the personal stories of discrimination our loved ones have been faced with; this is an enormous opportunity to change the hearts and minds of those who will be voting on ENDA."